Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Did I Do (All) That?

Filed under: Beading - Confessions of a Chantraphile,Cooking - Folkcat in the Kitchen,Holidays,Knitting — folkcat at 3:39 pm on Monday, November 20, 2006

It’s a funny thing sometimes. All weekend, I felt over tired and unmotivated. If you asked me outright what I got done, I would have sat a moment, gazing stupidly at nothing, before coming up with “not much” as my best answer.

But the fact is, I actually got quite a lot done. I kept myself moving steadfastly along, albeit at a slow pace, and I can feel pleased with the results.

A Complete, Start-to-Finish, FO

First up, on Friday afternoon I had a papercrafting session. I went for a much simpler model than my first one (the Maneki Neko). This one had only seven parts, and they all fit on a single page of cardstock paper. It was so easy, I actually did the whole thing at one sitting!

And so, here’s what I’m calling Little Blue Penguin.

Little Blue Penguin Papercraft
Little Blue Penguin

If you want to make one of your own, you can find the PDF to download here:

Little Blue Penguin 3-d Paper Model

You’ll need Adobe Reader to open the file – it’s available free here. Once you open it, please don’t be alarmed at the funny text – the document is in Japanese. But the instructions are well illustrated, and the assembly is pretty obvious once you get started.

If you like the Little Blue Penguin, you might like other models by the same artist. His name is Ryo Tokisato, and the entry page for his models can be found here. Again, the page is in Japanese, but it’s fairly easy to navigate. Just click on the links on the page, and you’ll be taken to the various model pages. The bottom most link is for e-mailing the artist, you can probably skip that – unless you do want to ask him about his work!

If you decide to pursue his models at a later time, fear not – I’ve added the link to my sidebar under Papercraft. I also added a link to the excellent papercraft models at Yamaha Motor – yes, that’s right. The company we know for making motorcycles has a wide assortment of detailed, realistic, and free paper models on subjects ranging from, of course, motorcycles, to endangered species and holiday decorations. This site will be easy for you to navigate – it’s all in English, and well organized.

Thanksgiving’s First Shot

The first bit of Thanksgiving cookery happened on Saturday afternoon. I made a double batch of jellied cranberry sauce.

Cranberries Boiling
Cranberries Boiling

The recipe is right on the bags of fresh cranberries you can buy in your supermarket. And it’s ridiculously easy. There are only three ingredients – sugar, water, and cranberries – and all you do is boil them together for the specified amount of time. If you want whole cranberry relish, you’re done then. If you want the jellied variety, you take the boiled berries and press them through a mesh strainer to remove the skins and pulp.

Piece of cake.

At that point, you can select the mold(s) of your choice to let the jelly set up in. If you personal holiday traditions demand that your jellied cranberry sauce come in a big, ridged cylinder, then you might want to save a can to pour your homemade stuff into. If you are able to be more flexible about the shape, though, there are any number of items you can use.

Finished Cranberry Sauce
Finished Jellied Cranberry Sauce

The three low, flat, copper molds at the front are actually family heirlooms from my mother’s side in Sweden. Goodness only knows how old they are – could be a hundred years. I have four of them, two with a sort of fleur-de-lys looking design, one with what I believe is a dragonfly, and one with a simple daisy-like flower. At the back left corner, you can see one of the unused copper molds sitting upright.

The remaining cranberry sauce will be shared with friends, so it’s been cast into four little Glad storage cups. They give a useful, attractive enough shape to the jelly when unmolded, and they’re cheap enough that I don’t care if they come back to me or not.

Christmas Knitting

I made a lot of progress here – let’s copy and paste the complete gift knitting list in from another post and give a rundown. You’ll find the new status information in italics.

  1. Bag from cotton yarn – status: All pieces knit, ends woven in. Next steps: steam blocking, then assembly.
  2. felted bag – status: Ends woven in, awaiting felting
  3. felted bag – status: Same as #2
  4. bead knitted bag – status: materials gathered, pattern chosen. These only take a day or two (at most) to knit.
  5. handspun and dyed yarn – singles partly spun. Stalled due to boredom with undyed pencil roving. May be replaced. Status: Will certainly be replaced. Probably with a purchased gift.
  6. unnamed object to include felted bowl – status: Experimental pattern for felted bowl has been felted, and is a success. Now must knit simple, scarf-like piece to go with it.
  7. mesh shopping bags – status: Test bag knit, am halfway through first of three gift bags now.
  8. same as #6 in different colors – status: Having confirmed pattern for felted bowl with #6, must now knit one for this gift.
  9. same as #4 in different colors – status: Same as #4
  10. “We Call Them Pirates” hat for Gryphon – status: Needles arrived from KnitPicks. Just need to knit it now.

I’m feeling eerily calm about this knitting list. It’s such a lot – and yet, it’s going so quickly. Gifts that need to be shipped to their recipients in other parts of the country could well be done by two weeks from now, and at the same time, I’m making lots of progress on those that will be handed directly to friends and family. I’m resisting temptation to add another knitted gift or two…or three…don’t want to mess with apparent success now!

1 Comment


Comment by laughingrat

November 25, 2006 @ 11:23 am

Mmm, real cranberry sauce is the best.

Cute penguin! I didn’t know you did paper sculpture.

That’s way more knitting than I would ever dare to do at once. 😉

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